Pot de crème may be a heavenly dessert, but it’s also convenient—you can (and should) make it the day before you plan to serve it, so when it’s time for dessert, all you have to do is pull the chilled custards out of the refrigerator and decorate them with candied zest or flowers, if you like.
Make Ahead Tips
Custards may be baked up to two days ahead and refrigerated, covered with plastic.
Very Nice Dessert, a Do Again!
Zesting four lemons is simply unnecessary, considering the fact that ultimately the zest will be used, strained, and discarded. Much easier to simply use a vegetable peeler and use the strips in the preparation of this dish, and discard the strips of lemon peel. (I expect a higher standard for Fine Cooking Magazine.)
Because of this experience, I formulated the following Culinary Tip
Anytime a recipe tells you to zest a fruit, ask yourself this question, "Will the zest be ultimately consumed, or will it be used, strained, and discarded?"
If the zest will be consumed, then continue to zest.
However, If the zest will be used, strained, then discarded, don't waste your time zesting. Simply use a vegetable peeler to produce peeled strips, and the strips can be used in the cooking process, will be a much more efficient use of your time.
These were delicious, and well worth the time it took. I would suggest that the publisher note when an ingredient is divided and used in several steps, because I put all the sugar in the pan with the lemon juice and grated zest. All turned out well, however, when all the ingredients were combined at the end. My guests loved this dessert after a ham dinner at Easter and thought it was a perfect ending. We all scraped our ramekins clean.
This (and the chocolate version) are the best pot de creme I have ever had. I have actually had guests use their finger to wipe out the cup to get every bit. If you have access to Meyer lemons, using them instead of Eureka lemons (the kind you typically get at a grocery store) adds a wonderful flavor twist that is outstanding.
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